KNIGHT Frank’s latest Scottish rural property update has shown that, although in the first six months of 2019 farmland value slipped by 1.7% to £4197 per acre, the value of hill land actually rose by 3% to £773 per acre.

Scotland’s incentives to plant trees are also continuing to support hill land values. Over the past 10 years top quality arable land, and hill land, have been the strongest performing land types in our index with growth of 85% and 72% respectively

Meanwhile, demand for trees may see hill land edge ahead of arable in the next few years, as a lack of supply should help ensure the value of other land types doesn’t fall significantly further

As far as country houses are concerned, there has been a 1.1% annual price growth for country houses in Scotland led by increases across the central belt, in the north and in the Borders.

Agents have note that demand has been underpinned by an increase in discretionary buyers, with a notable rise in those from outside of Scotland and analysis of listings data shows a 10% drop in the number of prime listings with a value above £500,000 outside of Scottish cities in the second quarter compared with the same period last year.

Associate at Knight Frank Residential Research, Oliver Knight, said: “Average prices still remain around 20% off the pre-financial crisis peak in 2007. This, combined with favourable currency movements for a number of international buyers since 2016, has resulted in a number of prospective buyers seeing relative value within prime Scottish markets at the current time, especially when compared with the rest of the UK.”

Partner at Rural Research, Andrew Shirley, also added: “Scotland’s government is strongly supportive of tree planting and attractive grants are available, making forestry an attractive investment proposition. Given that increasing the number of trees is seen as an important part of the battle to mitigate climate change this situation looks unlikely to change, regardless of Brexit or other political changes.”